| The Daily Mail’s pictures of Arun Nayar with Liz Hurley at the supermarket and Nayar with wife Valentina (inset).
London, April 21: Arun Nayar, currently the most famous Indian in the world — at least, as far as the British media is concerned — has been depicted today, looking less than glamorous, with one broken leg (the result of a skiing accident). And if wife’s outraged friends have their way, they would dearly love to break his other leg and Liz Hurley’s as well while they are about it.
Today’s unposed photographs of Hurley and Nayar demonstrate that all romances, however heady, end up more or less the same way — trolley-pushing in the local supermarket.
Hurley, 37, is shown pushing the trolley, so Nayar, also 37, has to be given some credit as he sets about trying to domesticate/Indianise the glamour puss of the red carpet. Her purchases seem to include diapers, which one has to assume are for her one-year-old son, Damian.
It is understood that Hurley and her son are staying with Nayar at a chalet in St Moritz, Switzerland, where their romance began.
More interesting than the contents of her trolley are the comments made by “close friends” of Valentina Pedroni, Nayar’s estranged Italian-born wife.
The suggestion is that Pedroni, 33, will use the Catholic culture of Italy’s divorce courts to frustrate her husband’s attempts at a quickie divorce, hoping he will wake up to reality.
Pedroni’s “best friend and spokesman”, Rita Dhody, has told the Daily Mail: “Men sometimes are led by lust and this is what has happened here. This woman is playing Arun like an instrument and he is such a soft touch. Valentina never thought he would fall for it.”
Dhody propounded the following rule: “There is an unwritten rule that you don’t steal your friend’s man and Liz Hurley has broken that in two.”
Hurley would probably say she was unaware of such a rule and that it was her understanding that Nayar and his wife had split up when she met him.
Dhody added: “It would be too painful for her to speak to Liz again. Valentina never for a second thought that things would go so far, so fast, with Liz Hurley. It has hurt her that Arun has rushed into things with this woman.”
Pedroni’s mother, Anna Maria, also has a few choice remarks to make about “this woman”.
“My daughter has kept herself to herself but Arun is behaving like an
idiot. This whole affair is stupid. It’s ludicrous that my son-in-law has got together with this actress that no one has ever heard of.”
Meanwhile, Nayar is not short of the odd friend or two.
Nayar and his wife “rarely showed affection and hardly spent any time together”, according to one guest who attended a party thrown by the couple for Nayar’s younger brother Nikhil and his English bride Samantha Carmichael in India last year.
The guest told the Daily Mirror today: “Arun and Valentina certainly weren’t lovey-dovey. There was just no spark between them.”
The British, of course, know all about Hurley but are learning some more.
Though it has issues such as the war to contend with, yesterday’s Observer gave generous space to a profile of Hurley, called “Give me the limelight”.
“Privacy is her desire, yet she wore that (Versace) dress, made much of her relation- ship with Hugh Grant, enjoyed a fruitful, much-publicised liaison with an American playboy, and publicly snogged her latest crush in a posh restaurant,” began the profile.
The paper suggests that it might be fashionable for a woman to have an Asian man as an accessory.
“Take, for example, her recent liaison with the Bombay businessman, Arun Nayar,” the Observer suggested.
“It will not have escaped your notice that Mr Nayar is a man of Asian extraction. Let it be said that there is nothing wrong with that. However, it is also equally true that Princess Diana had a thing for men from the subcontinent and that Jemima Goldsmith mar-ried Imran Khan. Two is merely a coincidence but, as every hack knows, three’s a trend.”
And the paper added: “Is it not therefore patently obv- ious that Hurley has delibe- rately turned her romantic arrangements into a lifestyle statement in the certain knowledge that journalists, ever vigilant to such socio-cultural developments, will be forced to cover this new fashion for the East'”